WASHINGTON – Congressman Patrick McHenry (NC-10), Ranking Member on the Census Oversight Subcommittee, released the following statement in response to the troubling admission by the U.S. Census Bureau that its cost estimation models are a complete failure. The recently concluded address canvassing operation went over budget by 25%.
The Government Accountability Office (GAO) also reports that failures in the fingerprint training process led to the hiring of as many as 200 temporary census workers with criminal backgrounds.
“Republicans and Democrats alike stand ready to provide adequate funding for a successful census. But it now seems that the Census Bureau is incapable of determining what that cost will be.
“While I appreciate Dr. Groves being forthright and understand that these problems are not of his making, corrective action must take place immediately. The 2010 Decennial, which is already funded to the tune of $14.7 billion, is just around the corner. The Census Bureau must fix its costs estimation model quickly and report back to Congress with an accurate figure.
“The Census Bureau will soon begin hiring hundreds of thousands of temporary workers and yet its safeguards against hiring criminals are in jeopardy. GAO has identified insufficient training in fingerprint-taking as the cause of this failure.
“Bureaucratic incompetence that leads to the hiring of criminals as census takers threatens the integrity of 2010 Decennial. This problem must be fixed immediately and assurances must be given to Congress and the American people that it will not happen again.”